Want to learn more about La Maison Rose, Montmartre? This article will show you all the interesting facts about La Maison Rose you may not have known before!
Commonly known as The pink house, La Maison Rose is a picturesque neighborhood cafe in the charming village of Montmartre that has become an iconic sight in Paris.
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Besides being a must-visit attraction in Montmartre and a popular subject in photography and art, La Maison Rose’s history runs far and deep, and there are plenty of interesting facts about this charming restaurant that you may not know about.
If you’re fascinated by its appeal or are wondering why it has become a popular Instagram spot in Paris, read this guide on facts on La Maison Rose before heading there and you’ll be able to appreciate it even more beyond its pastel pink walls and Instagrammable exterior!
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WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
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Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
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Facts About La Maison Rose, Montmartre
Beyond being a cute Parisian cafe, La Maison Rose has a fascinating history that dates back a century with pride in hosting household names in the art world.
To help you learn more about this iconic building, I’ll be sharing historical facts about La Maison Rose, Montmartre, and current-day things you ought to know before your visit.
Historical Facts About La Maison Rose, Montmartre
These facts will walk you through the history of La Maison Rose, Montmartre.
1. It’s nestled in the heart of Montmartre
Known as a charming district with cobblestone streets, interesting landmarks, museums, vineyards, and an overall bohemian village vibe, La Maison Rose fits right in at Montmartre and has been an important part of the neighborhood for decades.
Nestled at the corner of the picturesque Rue de l’Abreuvoir and the fact that it’s just a stone’s throw away from popular attractions such as Musée de Montmartre, Le consult (another historical cafe), Place du Tertre, and the Sacré Coeur (all within a 5-minute walking distance) gives the restaurant some extra brownie points.
Psst… You can discover Montmartre beyond La Maison Rose by joining this Montmartre guided walking tour. On this tour, you’ll learn more about the history of Montmartre, which famous artists used to call it home, and also discover both the famous and hidden gems of the neighborhood. Alternatively, you can explore it through food by signing up for this Montmartre food walking tour where you’ll taste various types of cheese, wine, and pastries.
2. La Maison Rose Has been around for over 100 years
Believed to have been built in the 1850s, the charming building was purchased by Spanish painter Ramon Pichot in 1905 as a painting studio and was converted into a restaurant (La Maison Rose restaurant) by his wife, Germaine Gargallo who was an art model.
While its ownership and menu have changed a couple of times over the years, La Maison Rose has been serving the community of Montmartre for over 100 years and has become an iconic establishment of the neighborhood that many people head over to catch a glimpse of.
3. No one knows who the original owners are
Next up on this list of La Maison Rose facts is something even the historians haven’t figured out.
While La Maison Rose’s first owners were known artists, who the building was built by and the original owners of the place remain a mystery till today.
In fact, the building was likely a very common, forgettable house, much like the others in the area.
It only gained its fame over the years after a facelift that transformed it into the pretty pink house in Paris, as well as many other reasons.
4. It used to be beige, not pink
Despite being around for over 100 years, La Maison Rose has not always had the pink walls it’s known for today.
In fact, the building was a forgettable beige when it was purchased in 1905 and was even painted white in the 1970s.
The restaurant was also not always so well-maintained and only got its fresh look after a remodel in the 1920s.
5. It was painted pink upon inspiration from travel
La Maison Rose got its iconic pink walls when Germaine Gargallo decided to get it repainted after being inspired by her trip to Barcelona, Spain.
Apparently, Germaine was captivated by the bright colors of the houses in the city while traveling there with her husband and came back with the decision to give La Maison Rose a facelift.
And for an extra pop of color, they painted the window shutters green.
We’re glad they did because if not, La Maison Rose would probably just look like a normal cafe by the corner today!
6. La Maison Inspired paintings by Maurice Utrillo & Élisée Maclet
La Maison Rose may be a star for photographers in the modern era, but appreciation for its beauty goes way back.
Painters decades ago immortalized the building with their artwork with the most famous painting being that of Maurice Utrillo, a French painter born in Montmartre who specialized in cityscapes.
Utrillo was a frequent patron of the restaurant, and his painting called ‘The Little Pink House’ was sold in an auction for a very steep price.
This greatly contributed to La Maison Rose’s exposure, and more people started to know about the little pink house after Utrillo’s painting.
While Utrillo received the most limelight, it was French Impressionist painter Élisée Maclet who featured La Maison Rose in his paintings first, long before Utrillo did.
7. Its structure has not changed Much
Despite having gone through paintings and remodelings over the years, La Maison Rose’s building was never vastly changed, and its location has also remained the same through time.
Little changes were made to the building, and it even survived a planned demolition in the 1930s, when the house was instructed to be knocked down to make way for a construction project in Montmartre.
8. La Maison Rose Used to Be A meeting place for creatives
This is one of the coolest facts about La Maison Rose, and an important reason that led to its uniqueness and popularity in the Parisian neighborhood of Montmartre.
Both Pichot and Germaine had many artist friends, and artists in the 19th and 20th centuries were a very tight-knit community.
Due to this, La Maison Rose became a cozy hangout spot for writers, artists, painters, actors, and even singers back in the day, including the likes of Suzanne Valadon, Albert Camus, Maurice Utrillo, Alain Delon, Dalida (whose burst can be found on the same street as La Maison Rose if you continue slopping down ), and more.
In fact, the restaurant once doubled as a boarding house for creatives, and was a place where artists could come for meals at very inexpensive prices!
9. Even Picasso was a regular here
One world-famous regular patron at La Maison Rose back in the day was none other than Pablo Picasso.
Picasso visited Paris frequently and even lived in a residential studio in Montmartre in the early 1900s.
The apartment he lived in was just a stone’s throw from La Maison Rose, and he often spent time at the restaurant as he was a close friend to both Pichot and Germaine.
10. The fate of La Maison Rose During World War II years is a Mystery
La Maison Rose’s hometown, Montmartre is known to have been occupied by German forces during World War II.
French Resistance ambushed and vandalized the neighborhood in a wake of fighting the Nazis, and in fact, Hitler’s only visit to Paris included Montmartre.
La Maison Rose’s fate during the World War II days remains a mystery, and while it obviously survived the challenging period, it’s unsure what happened at the building back then.
Some old photos seem to indicate that it was transformed into a cabaret for a couple of years though, but we’ll never be completely sure about that!
11. La Maison Rose was closed and reopened in 2017
Although the restaurant has been around for over 100 years since 1908, it has had some changes in ownership and was even closed for a while for refurbishments.
In December 2017, the restaurant reopened after being taken over by the granddaughter of Beatrice Miolano (an Italian lady who bought the restaurant in 1948), with some changes made to the restaurant’s menu and interior.
Present-Day Facts About La Maison Rose
If you’re planning to visit La Maison Rose, below are some things you should know.
12. It Was featured in Emily in Paris
While La Maison Rose has always been iconic, its popularity surged even further after being featured in a scene of the popular Netflix series, Emily in Paris.
In the said scene of the series, Emily and her friend Mindy are seen having drinks and conversation at one of the outdoor tables of La Maison Rose.
The restaurant’s green shutters and pastel-pink walls caught the attention of many viewers, and even more people started flocking to the location to snap that picture for the ‘gram!
Today, the little pink house is one of the most photographed buildings in Montmartre and ranks high on must-visit places in Paris.
13. The food is actually good
If you think La Maison Rose is just another famous pretty spot with mediocre food, you’re completely wrong.
Aesthetics aside, the restaurant serves delicious food and offers a well-thought-out menu specializing in traditional French cuisine as well as Italian cucina povera, making it one of the best restaurants in Montmartre.
Some popular items include their hearty French onion soup, roast beef, apple crumble, cheesecakes, and more! They also offer vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.
The restaurant also serves brunch (it’s one of the popular brunch spots in Paris), lunch, and dinner, as well as seasonal items from time to time.
14. The Restaurant Has an eco-conscious policy
Aside from the fact that they place a lot of focus on the quality of their ingredients (seasonal vegetables, quality meats, and fresh produce), La Maison Rose is also a firm defender of eco-conscious trade, something that’s not very common amongst commercialized establishments.
The restaurant sources its ingredients and products from local artisans and it also makes sure that the restaurant is void of single-use packaging such as plastic bottles, straws, and cans.
They also don’t serve industrial drinks and have very limited delivery offerings to avoid waste.
15. The Space At La Maison Rose is limited
No, La Maison Rose is not a huge restaurant. In fact, it’s often packed especially during lunch and dinner hours, and it’s likely you’ll leave disappointed if you don’t place your reservation in advance.
This should not come as a surprise when it comes to facts about La Maison Rose, especially considering its popularity, but I figured it’ll be helpful to still mention it so you know what to expect!
Reservations can be made on the restaurant’s official website, and are highly encouraged.
Its interior is quaint and homey, and the outdoor seats by the pink facade are great on a sunny day.
16. It’s not open on Mondays and Tuesdays
Just want to catch a glimpse of the little pink house without dining in?
La Maison Rose is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so you can pop over during these days if you’d like to snap some photographs and enjoy the exterior of the restaurant, minus the crowds and tables out front.
I suggest coming in the morning if you’d like to take photos without many photobombs!
17. Taking Photos here has some restrictions
One fact about La Maison Rose that might come as a surprise is that taking photos here has some restrictions.
Yes, it’s one of the most photographed places in Montmartre but since it’s also a working restaurant, the management requests Instagrammers and photographers not to bother diners by taking pictures during serving hours.
On the same note, if you plan to make La Maison Rose a filming location for either a movie, promotional campaign, or even a professional video, you’ll need to get official and legal authorization from the restaurant’s management.
Final Thoughts on the Interesting Facts About La Maison Rose in Montmartre
I hope you enjoyed my list of fun facts about La Maison Rose, and are excited to check out this pink house in Paris the next time you’re in town with more historical facts at your fingertips.
Whether you’re thinking of having a meal there (please make sure you place a reservation beforehand) or just want to snap some photos, I am sure you’ll be mesmerized by its charming exterior and homely vibe.
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